“Retire Rich” by P V Subramanyam – A handbook for your golden years

Share on whatsapp
Whatsapp share
Share on twitter
Tweet it out
Share on facebook
Share on FB
Share on linkedin
Post on LinkedIn

Retirement planning is a pretty new concept in India. So it was no surprise that when PGIM conducted a retirement survey in 2020, they found that

1. A majority of Indians had not planned for their retirement

2. Only 20% thought fit to consider inflation in their retirement calculations

3. A whopping 78% relied on fixed deposits or insurance plans to help them with their retirement

4. On an average, the retirement corpus that they were building for was 8.8 times their current annual income

Such alarming statistics, I am sure, are not purely an Indian thing. World over, planning and investing for retirement in a disciplined fashion is not the norm. However, western countries have a healthy social security net that would keep people out of really bad situations, and many such countries would have state-sponsored health coverage that would take care of the inevitable big bills in old age.

India has neither, at least not in a manner that will cater to a middle-class life-style and care aspirations here. Hence, planning, saving, and investing for retirement becomes a must-do activity during the earning years of an individual in India.

retire rich

P V Subramanyam’s book – “Retire Rich – Invest Rs 40 a day” was the first book on this topic. The original version was published in 2011 and sold more than 150,000 copies, and is now available in a new edition (since 2019).

First a word about the author. Subra (who writes the Subramoney blog) is someone I have known for more than 12 years now. I remember calling him before I (and Chandra) started FundsIndia. And in that very first conversation he told me (for the first of several times) that the ‘golden rule is that the man with the gold makes the rules’ – an aphorism that I realized the truth of many years later.

Subra is a veteran of the advisory industry. He has both been an advisor and has trained and coached hundreds of advisors in his career. And more importantly, he has interacted with hundreds of investors of all stripes and colours from across the country with a variety of economic profiles and financial aspirations.

And in this book,  Subra draws from his years of counselling people to distil the wisdom from across the Indian investment spectrum.The chapters are brimming with actual examples of real people doing the right (or often, the wrong) things with their money. 

The best thing about this book is its focus – it talks about a variety of financial topics, a range of investment instruments, presents a lot of tools and so forth, but it does it all to serve the purpose of helping you with retirement planning. And there is a reason for that, as the author himself alludes to occasionally in the book – most Indians plan for many things in their life – short-term goals like buying a house(s?), wedding, and medium term goals like their kids’ education, but they do all that at the cost of planning for their retirement.

For this reason, the book starts with and devotes an entire segment to the need for retirement planning. Subra goes to great lengths and takes great pains to tell you exactly why you should be planning for the long-term future starting now (whatever the ‘now’ is for the reader in his/her career, it does not matter).

A person planning for their retirement in their 20s is very smart, but a person NOT planning for their retirement in their 30s is very dumb. You may not be (or have been) very smart, but you can avoid being very dumb. As the saying goes, ‘the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the next best time is today’. This opening segment gets a bit colourful with all of Subra’s observations about how typical Indian families deal with questions about spending, saving, and retirement. You can sense a hint of bias to Mumbai style of earnings and living styles, but given that’s the author’s home turf, that is to be expected.

The second segment is on the detailed planning – ‘how to plan for your retirement’ and contains the main essence of the book. Subra goes into every element of planning for your retirement – when to retire, how to figure out how much you will need, how to estimate what your returns will be, how to factor in inflation, what instruments are available for retirees, and many more. He takes the practical approach of a teacher – the author’s training roots showing here – and comes at a single topic from multiple angles, hoping that at least one will get through to the reader with clarity and force. The topic of post-retirement inflation, for example, comes into play again and again. Given that this is one of the most ignored aspects of retirement planning, it is well worth the repetitions.

Subra devotes the entire third segment of the book to mistakes that a person should avoid. Having conversed with him quite a bit over the years, I am not a bit surprised by this. The most important thing that he likes to emphasize to anyone coming to him for financial advice is to learn to say ‘No’. Most financial products that are being sold to us are bad and you will rarely, if ever, go wrong by saying no. The cost of a mistake can be huge, but the upside foregone by saying ‘no’ is miniscule. I cannot agree more with Subra on this, and this segment is well worth the attention it gets. The chapter on ‘Peer pressure’ alone is full of practical wisdom that a reader will rarely find anywhere else.

The final segment is about the nitty-gritty of retirement planning – what investment options are available, what are their natures, what is applicable when etc. The most important aspect of this segment is the set of case studies presented here. Again, Subra surely hopes that there is at least one case that will apply fully well to the reader, or he or she can take a bit from every case for their own situation.

There is much more in the book – worksheets, calculators, tools, glossary etc – that makes the book useful not just as a source of gyaan, but also a veritable workbook. One way that a person can read this book is with a pencil in their hand, working out their own life situation (net worth calculation, retirement corpus calculation etc) along with the author.

The impressive thing about this book is its comprehensiveness – it talks about EVERY single thing that could be associated with planning for retirement, investing for retirement, or living your retired life. It covers special situations, unique requirements, and goes beyond the financials to dealing with questions of wills and trusts as well. In short, all you need to plan for your golden years.

The readers of this blog are financially astute people (for the most part). Even so, it is very likely that they will find an aspect of their planning enhanced from having read this book (it was for me, sure enough). And as importantly, this book would make an ideal recommendation or a gift to that brother-in-law or a colleague who is oblivious to the financial perils of living a long life beyond their earning years.

Link to the book at Amazon

(Not an affiliate link)

Note: You can find one of the most useful retirement calculators on our site here – it takes into account all pre and post retirement inflation and investment returns – Retirement calculator. And of course, you will find portfolios tailor-made for retirement planning in our Prime Portfolios.

Share on whatsapp
Share via Whatsapp
Share on twitter
Tweet it out
Share on facebook
Share on FB
Share on linkedin
Post on LinkedIn

More like this

Please note that any specific queries on any of our recommendations will be answered ONLY through email. If you are a subscriber, please mail contact@primeinvestor.in.  Only general queries or discussions will be answered through the comment section of the blog. For full details, please refer to this post – How to communicate with PrimeInvestor.

6 thoughts on ““Retire Rich” by P V Subramanyam – A handbook for your golden years”

  1. I have an intresting question….which is a good way to measure whether one is ready to retire?

    If my “todays Liquid assets” / “annual expense ” = 35+ & life expentancy of 35 yr from now ( and of cource a own house to stay +insurance for medical )

    Am i good position?
    What other way we can measure our retirement corpus adequacy?

    1. Srikanth Meenakshi

      (Sorry about late reply – just noticed this comment as pending).

      35 years of annual expenses saved is definitely a good position to be in. However, this is assuming that you will be investing them in a way to make consistent inflation-beating returns so that your withdrawal will not deplete your corpus.

  2. Hi,

    Kindly confirm the ideal size of the retirement corpus expected to be built in mutiples of current annual income.

    thanks
    aravind

      1. I had no idea these calculators existed till I read this comment! Could you add a link to this in the menus at the top?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Register for FREE!

Gain instant access to more PrimeInvestor articles, researched products, and portfolios

The essence of PrimeInvestor

Register for FREE!

Gain instant access to more PrimeInvestor articles, researched products, and portfolios

Legal Disclaimer : PrimeInvestor Financial Research Pvt Ltd (with brand name PrimeInvestor) is an independent research entity offering research services on personal finance products to customers. We are a SEBI registered Research Analyst (Registration: INH200008653). The content and reports generated by the entity does not constitute or is not intended to constitute an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation to an offer to buy or sell financial products, units or securities. All content and information are provided on an ‘as is’ basis by PrimeInvestor Financial Research Pvt Ltd. Information herein is believed to be reliable but PrimeInvestor Financial Research Pvt Ltd does not warrant its completeness or accuracy and expressly disclaims all warranties and conditions of any kind, whether express or implied. The services rendered by PrimeInvestor Financial Research Pvt Ltd are on a best-effort basis. PrimeInvestor Financial Research Pvt Ltd does not assure or guarantee the user any minimum or fixed returns. PrimeInvestor Financial Research Pvt Ltd or any of its officers, directors, partners, employees, agents, subsidiaries, affiliates or business associates will not liable for any losses, cost of damage incurred consequent upon relying on investment information, research opinions or advice or any other material/information whatsoever on the web site, reports, mails or notifications issued by PrimeInvestor Financial Research Pvt Ltd or any other agency appointed/authorised by PrimeInvestor Financial Research Pvt Ltd. Use of the above-said information is at the user’s own risk. The user must make his own investment decisions based on his specific investment objective and financial position and using such independent advisors as he believes necessary. All intellectual property rights emerging from this website, blog, and investment solutions are and shall remain with PrimeInvestor Financial Research Pvt Ltd. All material made available is meant for the user’s personal use and such user shall not resell, copy, or redistribute the newsletter or any part of it, or use it for any commercial purpose. PrimeInvestor Financial Research Pvt Ltd, or any of its officers, directors, employees, or subsidiaries have not received any compensation/ benefits whether monetary or in kind, from the AMC, company, government, bank or any other product manufacturer or third party, whose products are the subject of its research or investment information. The performance data quoted represents past performance and does not guarantee future results. Investing in financial products involves risk. Investments are subject to market risk. Please read all related documents carefully. As a condition to accessing the content and website of PrimeInvestor Financial Research Pvt Ltd, you agree to our Terms and Conditions of Use, available here. This service is not directed for access or use by anyone in a country, especially the USA, Canada or the European Union countries, where such use or access is unlawful or which may subject PrimeInvestor Financial Research Pvt Ltd or its affiliates to any registration or licensing requirement.

Aditya Birla Mutual FundAxis Mutual Fund Baroda Mutual FundBNP Paribas Mutual FundBOI AXA Mutual FundsCanara Robeco Mutual FundDSP Mutual Fund Edelweiss Mutual FundEssel Mutual FundFranklin Templeton Mutual FundHDFC Mutual FundHSBC Mutual FundICICI Mutual FundIDBI Mutual FundIDFC Mutual FundIIFL Mutual FundIndiabulls Mutual FundInvesco Mutual FundITI Mutual FundKotak Mahindra Mutual FundL&T Mutual FundLIC Mutual FundMahindra Mutual FundMirae Asset Mutual FundMotilal Oswal Mutual FundNippon India Mutual FundPGIM Mutual FundPPFAS Mutual FundPrincipal Mutual FundQuant Mutual FundQuantum Mutual FundSahara Mutual FundSBI Mutual FundShriram Mutual FundSundaram Mutual FundTata Mutual FundsTaurus Mutual FundsUnion Mutual FundsUTI Mutual FundsYes Mutual Funds

Equity: Large Cap Funds | Mip Cap Funds | Large And Mid Cap Funds | Small Cap Mutual Funds | Contra Mutual Funds | Dividend Yield | Focused Mutual Funds | Find Top Index Funds | Best Sector Funds | Thematic Mutual Fund | Best Value Mutual Funds | Equity Linked Savings Scheme | Tax Saving Funds
Debt: Banking And PSU Funds | Corporate Bond Funds | Credit Risk Funds Mutual Funds | Dynamic Bond Funds | Floating Rate Funds | Gilt Mutual Funds India | Find Top Liquid Funds In India | Long term debt funds | Low Duration Funds Debt Funds | Medium Duration Debt Funds | Medium To Long Duration Funds | Money Market Debt Funds | Overnight Debt Funds | Short Duration Debt Funds | Ultra Short Term Debt Fund
Hybrid: Aggressive Hybrid Funds | Arbitrage Mutual Funds | Balanced Advantage Mutual Funds | Conservative Hybrid Funds | Dynamic Asset Allocation | Equity Saving Funds | Multi Asset Funds | Multi Asset Allocation

Mutual fund rolling returns by category: Balanced Advantage | Conservative Hybrid Fund | Corporate Bond | Dividend Yield | Dynamic Bond | Equity Linked Savings Scheme | Floating Rate | Index Funds | Large and Midcap fund | Large Cap Fund | Liquid funds | Low Duration | Mid Cap Fund | Multi Cap Fund | Short Duration | Small cap Fund | Solution Oriented – Childrens Fund | Ultra Short Duration

Login to your account
OR